Saturday, 24 September 2022


This weekend was supposed to be an epic four day mission on The Wye & Severn with James - searching for double figure barbel... But to be honest I think it would probably have killed me!

So we've postponed it for a month. James has headed to Yorkshire on his Barbel Quest - so expect a report soon. And I had a gently walk down the river - where six barbel, 2 chub & a crab found a bait.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Sitting Still

A trip to Marsh Farm trying to find a late summer crucian carp - but I think the recent cold nights have put them off - I don't think one was landed on the entire complex all day. Still a few small tench and silvers kept me entertained - and I sat still all afternoon!

Thursday, 15 September 2022


Been a while since I've been fishing - I pushed myself a bit too hard and ended up in hospital. A very boring week on the ward and I have a feeding tube stuck up my nose for a few more weeks!

Feeling better I headed to the Small River to test my stamina - so lucky to have the river so close. I really tried to take it easy but soon reverted to my old self - rushing, jumping, climbing - idiot!

Thirteen barbel landed to 6lb 9oz, a cracking afternoon - but it really was a bit much - I was absolutely shattered! Think I need to try sitting still by a pond next time - until my strength returns...

And after a bit of a lull in the action, James is back on his Double Barbel Quest - old news now, but double number 14 of 40 is here.

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Mind & Body

Out for a Small River wander. Lots of walking about, lots of (the lost art of) looking, bit of climbing and some jumping about for good measure. Same as most of my summer fishing since I was a kid.

But it's really hard now; still feeling the effects of the last chemo and still doing radiotherapy every day (only 3 more to go) - the mind is willing but the body is really starting to fail now!

Six barbel found the net, to a rather nice 7lb 12oz (R) - great fun spotting them in the clear water and convincing them to take a bait. But I think bait 'n' wait is going to have to take over for a bit...

This round of treatment finishes on Tuesday (can't wait), it takes about 8-12 weeks to recover fully from it - so perhaps a late summer tench or carp to nurse me back to health...

I don't want to wish the summer away - but - roll on pike time!

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Bit Of Rain

Radiotherapy session number 20 of 30 in the bag - and they are really starting to hurt now. The beard and hair were getting very ratty - so they've had to go. And chemotherapy round two starts today... I needed to load up on painkillers and hit the riverbank...

A bit of rain - dirty water and loads of crap washing through. So I thought I'd sit it out in a couple of swims, bit of bait 'n' wait. Great just to watch the rod nearly getting ripped into the river - as 10 barbel found a bait. Season total: 100 Small River barbel!

Monday, 8 August 2022

Treasure Hunting

There is one summer fishing session I think I enjoy more than any other - when me and James hit the Fens in the boat, our annual trip searching for gold. A maze of clear water, a boat full of bread and no particular plan! I think I'll just let the photos do the talking...

We've got the boat down to an artform, minimum of gear packed away, bait, motor... And in the excitement of setting off I aways forget to take a photo. Here's an after photo, after thought!

Friday, 5 August 2022

Lucky Seven

My 10th radiotheraphy treatment (not fun) followed by my 6th Small River barbel session this season (much more fun). And I began my quest for a small river seven pounder... Got one... 7lb 10oz...

Great stuff. A total of 13 barbel landed, also including fish of 6lb 1oz (above) and 5lb 0oz (below) - getting bigger - where were they hiding? The quest for an eight pounder starts here...

Edit: And I popped down to use up the rest of the bait the next afternoon. Back on splasher patrol - seven barbel added, the biggest about 3¾lb. Season total: 90 Small River barbel.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Clouded Vision?

I was charging about like a nutter photographing Clouded Yellow butterflies - a beautiful summer visitor. Lots of blurry yellow blobs and a couple of decent shots - including the light coloured one above. Did I happen to photograph a very rare Pale Clouded Yellow?

I was on well known butterfly hotspot; Hutchinson's Bank in Croydon - and it's got form for them - one was confirmed there in 1976! It's probably not, but I've sent the photos over to those in the know and I'm waiting to hear back! Normal one below for comparison.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Dinosaur Tour

I popped up to see the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs. Neglected, ignored and in disrepair* - and I love them! It was the first dinosaur park in the world - featuring the first life-size dinosaur models. Can you imagine being a kid in 1854 going to see them? Wikipedia.

*The dinosaurs were restored in 2002 but the park is in disrepair.

Saturday, 30 July 2022

Wipe Out

Chemotherapy is hard. Took about 3 or 4 days to hit me, in which time it lured me into a false sense of security - could I be one of the very few who don't react badly? Then BAM - you feel absolutely f*cked for three or four days! About as bad as I've ever felt - not surprisingly for a treatment that's based on the deadly Mustard Gas!

Over a week after being poisoned (and with new anti-sick meds), I needed to escape to the riverbank. Nothing breaking the mold - just needed to chase some barbel about - the simple things! And it was great watching them in the clear water and tempting them into hitting a bit of bread - just what the doctor ordered!

Twelve little barbel found the net before I had to dump the gear off and head for radiotherapy. Best two just over 5lb - but I did spot a couple of barbel about 7 or 8lb. And as I haven't set a summer challenge yet, I think that's it; A 7lb+ Small River Barbel - I hope there are a few that size left... And bigger...